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While Sanford’s Pfizer employees are entering Year 4 of a five-year plan to eliminate 400 jobs, Pfizer Inc. is looking to spend up to $99 billion to acquire London-based AstraZeneca.

According to the New York Times, if the deal goes through, Pfizer would benefit by escaping the U.S. corportate tax rate and save billions each year by becoming a British company. Pfizer currently pays a 27 percent tax rate; that number would drop to 20 percent in the U.K. by 2015.  The move would also allow the company to “tap into a mountain of cash trapped overseas,” the Times writes, and become more competitive with other global drug makers.

But will the deal affect the Sanford plant, which announced in 2010 that it was going to transition to a clinic manufacturing site and cut about half of the workforce it acquired when Pfizer purchased Wyeth for $68 billion in 2009. According to NPR, Pfizer’s deal with AstraZeneca would not lead to U.S. jobs heading overseas. The company would keep its corporate headquarters in the U.S. and retain a listing on the New York Stock Exchange. AstraZeneca’s employees in London, however, might expect similar job cuts to Wyeth.

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